Welcome back to Writers on Wednesday. This week I put my questions to YA novelist Ann Herrick ...
Tell me a bit about yourself …
I grew up in Connecticut, where I graduated from The Morgan School and Quinnipiac University. I now live in Oregon with my husband, who was my high-school sweetheart. Our wonderful daughter is grown, married and gainfully employed as an advertising copywriter, and has given us our only grand-dog, Puff, a bloodhound-rottweiller-beagle mix and six grand-kitties. While I miss the East Coast, especially houses built before 1900, I enjoy the green valleys, fresh air and low humidity in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. I love cats, walking, the Oregon Ducks and working in my back yard. In addition to stories and books for children and young adults, I also write copy for humorous and conventional greeting cards.
Tell us about your most recently published book?
Life, Love, and Surviving High School is pretty much about, well, the stress of high- school. The main character would like to skip ahead to her early twenties and not have to deal with her first date, first kiss, her driver's test, taking the SATs, filling out all those college applications, etc. Except she discovers that if she did that she’ll miss out on many of the important aspects of life (guys, just as one not-so-minor example). She has managed to stay BFF with her three best friends and doesn't need to share in her friends' spotlight. She's happy to follow along in the shadows, as long as she's not totally cast aside. When she secretly lusts after Brent, Claire's boyfriend, and then Claire makes Becca an offer about Brent that she can't resist, that changes everything.
Tell us about the first time you were published?
My first publication was actually a greeting-card idea. I then had two short stories that were accepted and came out at almost the same time. One was “The Chocolate Day,” for young kids in a magazine called Trails and the other was for older readers, a story called “What Are Friends For?” in ‘Teen magazine.
As writer, what has been your proudest achievement so far?
Just getting published in any way, shape or form feels like a major accomplishment! I think getting my second book published (The Perfect Guy, first published by Bantam and now available from Books We Love, Ltd.) was major to me, because it was my second book, so I felt as if my having my first book published was not a fluke!
What books or writing projects are you currently working on, if anything?
I’m working on my next young adult novel. I don’t talk about what I’m writing while I’m writing it, because so much changes along the way. So stay tuned!
Which do you prefer? eBooks or Paper Books? Why?
I like both and I buy both. I like paper books because of the way the pages feel and because I see the cover each time I pick up the book. I like the convenience of ebooks. I can load up to something like 2,000 books on my ereader, and I can buy a book and get it downloaded any time of day or night in 60 seconds. So I’m never without something to read.
Indie Publishing, or Traditional Publishing?
Both have their pluses. Tradtional publishing is backed with more money and to some extent with more publicity. Indie books allow the author a lot more flexibility. For example, indies can mix and combine genres, be longer or shorter than usual.
Aside from your own books, of course, what is one book that you feel everybody should read?
Wow, it’s hard to select just one book, because people’s tastes are so different. So, let’s say I highly recommend Pride and Prejudice. The development of characters, the dialogue, the wit are such fine aspects of wonderful writing.
Finally … is there anything you would like to say to your readers in Adelaide, Australia?
Since some of my print books have been published in Australia and since ebooks are available worldwide, I’ll assume that I actually have some readers in Adelaide. To them I say, I’d love to visit your town some day and I hope you enjoy my books!
My Amazon Author Page (where you can purchase my books):
My Web Site: http://annherrickauthor.com